Hillary Clinton acts as if the presidency is an entitlement, and that really shined through in a recent interview with Chris Cuomo for CNN.
Cuomo asked “So you get into the general election, if you’re the nominee for the party, and…” Clinton then interrupts him: “I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done, in effect. There is no way that I won’t be.”
Cuomo then pointed out that she has not yet won the nomination. “There’s a Senator from Vermont who has a different take on that.” Cuomo reminded her that Sanders stated that he will fight to the end, to which Clinton responded “Yeah, it’s strange.”
Since this opposition to Clinton in a presidential primary is so “strange,” then I will attempt to clarify how Secretary Clinton herself has created this strong opposition–not only be being an establishment politician, but by her recent actions and statements.
Recently, in the Bernie Sanders campaign there has been a rise in the #BernieOrBust movement. This movement is made of Sanders supporters who pledge that they will not vote for anyone BUT Bernie in the presidential election. They will write him in, or if they live in a state that does not accept write-ins, they will not vote at all in the general.
Other Sanders supporters have stated that they will vote for Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, if Clinton wins the primary. The Sanders supporters who have vowed to never vote for Clinton is not a small group, and she keeps making that group larger by her own words or actions.
It is not the fault of Bernie Sanders that people are refusing to vote for Clinton, but rather the fault of Clinton herself and the DNC.
The DNC seemed particularly biased in this election in favor of Clinton. The DNC scheduled primary debates on days where it was certain that not many people could watch, such as the day of an NFL game and the weekend before Christmas.
In addition, the DNC cut off Sanders’ access to voter databases before a primary because the Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, claimed there was a “firewall breach.” I could go on and on about the antics of Wasserman-Schultz this election, but that is another article for another time.
When you consider the behavior of Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC it is no surprise that more progressive democrats are angry. However, Clinton could have distanced herself from that behavior, but instead of doing that she has escalated the situation. She shouted down a Greenpeace activist when she was asked if she took money from fossil fuel companies. Her response was, “I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.”
First of all, she was assuming that person was a Sanders supporter. They could have been a Stein supporter for all she knew.
Second, Clinton never responded to the question. She could have explained that fossil fuel contributions directly only make up .2% of her campaign contributions, but these are only direct contributions, so indirectly it could be more thanks to PACs and SuperPACs.
She could have just told the truth. Clinton’s response here could have been one of two things: she sees this as an opportunity to attack her opponent or it was an outburst. Either response is unsettling.
Secretary Clinton also had a Black Lives Matter activist removed from an event. (The same interruption happened in Seattle for Sanders, and while he did leave, he later remarked that the activists raised important issues.)
Clinton has also indicated that Sanders’ supporters are naïve in countless interviews and statements.
Now, however, the “presumptive nominee” is calling for unifying the party. Yet, earlier in the primary she had no problem insulting Sanders and his supporters as liars, hopeless idealists, or people just not worth listening to.
The Age of the Internet transformed the election process in recent times. We can now fact check a candidate with just a few keystrokes. Third Party or outsider candidates are able to be heard now. I remember when I was a Libertarian, how the Party grew solely based on the Internet, and I am seeing the same thing now as a Progressive.
Sanders is hugely popular with the more tech-savvy generations, which will be the future of politics in years to come. Yet Clinton has already alienated those same young supporters. Sanders supporters will not be swayed by her unifying language when there is video of her condescending remarks right at our fingertips.
In this most recent interview with Cuomo, she is literally telling voters in Washington, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, California, and D.C. that their votes DO NOT MATTER.
This reminds me of the Republican Party’s attempts to silence more libertarian voices, and the same thing is now happening within the Democratic Party: the Progressives are being silenced. Clinton is acting as if the presidency is an entitlement, as if it is something that one deserves, and at the right moment it will be served to her on a silver platter.
This entitlement was taken from her in 2008, and she feels as if it is her turn. Votes are a mere inconvenience.
However, she has been in the public eye long enough that most people who remember the (husband) Clinton presidency have made up their minds about her and if they love her or hate her that will not change. She has dropped the ball with the Millennials, though, because she is the face of establishment politics, and she made no genuine effort to change that.
In fact, she has reinforced that image–and she does not represent nor care about representing Sanders supporters. She will have to face the alienation of Millennials in the general because she has made a very convincing argument for #BernieOrBust, and she did not even need Bernie Sanders’ help.
Yet, she finds all of this opposition so “strange.” Sanders supporters surely find it out of touch…
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